I have mentioned several times that our 9 year old daughter has been having a great deal of difficulty with reading. We have spent the last two years working on her reading fluency and have hit wall after wall. We took her to her Pediatrician and multiple Optometrists, all of whom said her vision was perfect and not the issue concerning her reading difficulties.
I did my research and decided to take her to an Ophthalmologist. The Ophthalmologist found that she has exotropia as well as a convergence insufficiency. The muscles in her eyes are so weak that she can not keep her eyes in the proper position for reading. When we read our eyes turn towards one another. If the muscles in the eye are too weak to hold this position the eyes are constantly pulling back to center. This results in her eyes constantly moving between inward and center in an attempt to refocus while reading. The results of all this movement are words that move around the page and blur together.
The treatment consists of very simple eye exercises that strengthen the eye muscles. Our Ophthalmologist recommended a specific computer based convergence therapy program. The program uses special 3D glasses to help the user see a 3D object on the screen. The object moves around the screen and the user has to "find it".
I was shocked to see the scope of her convergence insufficiency. She can see the object if it is directly in front of either eye. If the object crosses into the area between her eyes she can not see it at all and swears it has "disappeared". After completing her first week of lessons we are seeing some very slow progress. Her scores are going up slightly each time which shows some muscle strength improvement. We could not be happier to see some improvement, however small, with each use of the program.
I wish we had known this 2 years ago when we started questioning her vision while reading. I am sharing in the hope that we can save some other family all the frustration and wasted time we have experienced.